by Kevin Sylvester, Buffalo Sports Page

Lift

Betting and golf go together like cheese and crackers. Everybody does it on one level or another. When you enter a tournament at your club, there is almost always money set aside for prize money in the pro shop. I view that as betting. But what other bets are out there? Here’s a rundown of what I’ve experienced over the years. 

Calcutta —After the first day of a multi-day tournament, teams are placed into lines based on the first day’s scores. The placement is similar to what you’d do with a snake draft in fantasy footall. Line 1 would be the team with the best, line 2 is second best score, and when you reach the last line, the second column starts from the bottom. The theory is all lines should be close in total score, giving most if not all lines a chance going into day 2 and/or 3. The money pool is built up through auctioning of the lines. That’s usually an entertaining auction with some big dollars being tossed around. If you don’t bid or win your line, you have the option to buy 10% of it. Due to the auction nature, this is where the most money is to be had. 

Bombay — Same as the Calcutta, but without the auction. It’s a fixed price per team, lowering the pool, but giving everyone the same stake. 

Skins — This is a prize for having the best score on any given hole during a round of golf. This is hard to win gross, but most are done with net scores, bringing handicaps into play. Depending on the entry fee, skins can be very rewarding. Always put in for this because you never know if you’re ace is coming that day. My only issues with skins is, sometimes an ace or natural eagle can get sawed off (tied) due to strokes. I believe an ace or natural eagle/albatross should always trump a net score. 

Para-mutual — This is just like betting on horses, but without the odds. At the start of a tournament, you can place a wager on any team in the field to have the best finishing score daily and for the tournament. This is fun, and it gives you a chance to win some scratch off of the sandbaggers (you know who you are). Just be sure to bet on yourself too!

Nassau — This is more for the regular round of golf with buddies where each hole is worth a small amount of dollars. The twist is you can usually “press” if you’re done 3, which essentially starts a new bet. 

6’s —Each member in the foursome is partnered with each other for 6 holes in a nassau match. I enjoy this one the most, and usually at the end everything evens out. 

Yards —I heard about this happening at prominent golf club when I was working in another state many moons ago. Yards is a match where the stakes are $1 per yard per hole. For example, a 400 yard par 4 is worth $400. Yes, the money is huge! If I were do this, it would be 1 cent per yard, not dollars. Sounds like fun, and you would definitely want to win the par 5’s. 

I’m curious to hear about the golf bets you have or know that didn’t make my list (bingo, bango, bongo). Send them to me at kevin@buffalosportspage.com

Clean

The U.S. Open is this week at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. If you didn’t know that, you’re not a golfer. What you really want to know is who’s going to win. My pick is Justin Rose. He won Colonial a few weeks ago in Ft. Worth, and followed it up with a T6 at The Memorial. Rosey is a patient golfer, and obviously his back is feeling good lately. 

Two other players to consider (there’s actually 20) are Dustin Johnson and Rory Mcllroy. I’m really going out on a limb here! Johnson had a great performance winning the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic last week. He made it look easy, and added the exclamation point with a hole out eagle at the 18th to win by 6. Mcllroy is a great driver of the ball and has shown a propensity to go low on occasion this year. The third round of The Memorial was great example of that. He mentioned he found something on the range that morning. I think he’ll carry that over to the U.S. Open to contend. 

Place

I have two shoe recommendations for you. The first is Puma Ignite shoes. Anyone of the the Ignite line will serve you well. I wear both the spike and spikeless, with a slight lean to the latter. I find them to be extremely comfortable and light, two things that I find hard to achieve. I wear the spikeless shoes all the time, even in the TV studio. They are that comfortable.  This camo pair add some flair to your look too. Find all Puma here

The other pair comes in the ‘those are golf shoes?’ category. Canoos meld the casual shoe into golf. Boat shoes that are golf shoes. I saw these in Boston last summer and had to try them. They are comfortable, and give it a casual look. The rubber traction on the bottom are a little longer than I’d like for casual wear, but work well on the course. Check them out 

https://www.canoos.com.

Tournament—The Duster Challenge. This is the putting tournament the crew from Tee 2 Green runs. It benefits the WNY Reach Foundation through the WNYPGA. It’s low cost ($50) and high fun! Register today at http://www.dusterchallenge.com

Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester has over 20 years of experience in media, working for stations, professional sports teams, leagues, and national broadcast entities. This experience includes being an announcer for NHL, NBA, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Hockey, and The PGA Tour. Kevin also served as the producer for the Buffalo Sabres post-game show, executive producer for a Sabres radio show, and started his own media production company, All Square Media LLC in 2008. All Square Media serves as the executive producer of the Tee 2 Green TV and Radio shows (created by Kevin), handling distribution, sponsorship sales, fulfillment, and production of the shows.

Kevin's business background extends beyond broadcasting. He served as the Director of Amateur Athletics for WNY Arena LLC (Key Bank Center in Buffalo), procuring major amateur sporting events for Buffalo, NY. The major highlights include two sold out NCAA Tournaments First and Second Rounds (2007, 2010), and the 2011 IIHF U20 World Championships (Kevin co-wrote the winning bid, and served on the organizing committee for USA Hockey). Kevin created The Duster Challenge in 2016, a local 18 hole putting competition, and serves as an advisor to WNY golf ball company, OnCore Golf.

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